Every few weeks I like to share an example of one of our worship services from Grace Fellowship Church. I hope it serves as simply one model of how we can worship the Lord in a distinctly biblical way.
This service’s cast of characters included Steve as our service leader, Josh as our lead worshipper, Murray as the elder who read the Scripture text and prayed, and Chris as the preacher. Our band consisted of two guitars, cajon, and piano accompanying two female vocalists. The various elements of the service are in bold with the name of the person who led the element in parentheses. Items in quotes or blockquotes represent roughly what the person said to the congregation. Items not in quotes are explanatory. The entire service takes approximately 90 minutes.
Welcome & Call to Worship (Josh)
Josh began the service with a welcome and call to worship that went something like this:
We gather like this today because God has made himself known to us. We wouldn’t know his character, or his purpose, or his goodness, or his glory if he hadn’t come, seeking us. We were not seeking him—quite the contrary! But he graciously condescended to us and we have beheld his glory—glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. Please pay attention as we sing now and notice the progression of these words: Look to Christ who condescended. See the true and better Adam. See the price of our redemption. And finally, Praise the Lord, He is alive! Stand with us to behold and praise our God!
Opposite Text Reading & Prayer of Confession (Steve)
Steve read Luke 22:54–62, then led us in a corporate prayer of confession (which we all prayed aloud).
Peter denied the Lord and when he did that, fellowship was broken. In the same way, our sins splinter our closeness to God. Yet for the Christian there is always a way back. It’s called repentance. Let’s confess our sins to God together in a prayer that has been adapted from Daniel’s prayer of confession in Daniel 9:4–19.
O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments. We have sinned and done wrong, we have acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your Word.
To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame…because we have sinned against you. To you, O Lord our God, belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against You and have not obeyed Your voice by walking in Your commandments.
O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from us. For your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon us. O our God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our brokenness and shame. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy.
O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O God, because we, your people, are called by your name.
Pastoral Prayer (Murray)
Murray led the pastoral prayer.
Scripture Reading (Murray)
Please take your Bible and turn to Exodus 33. That will be page 73 if you are using one of our church Bibles. He began the reading with “This is what Holy Scripture says…” and ended it with “This is the word of the Lord” to which the congregation replied, “Thanks be to God.”
Paul preached a message titled “Behold, the Face of God” based on Exodus 33 and following this outline:
- God removes his presence from us when we sin (1-3)
- The right response to losing the presence of God is to mourn (4-6)
- Interlude: The presence of God is glorious! (7-11)
- In our mourning for sin, we must plead with God not to leave us (12-22)
- Wait to see God again (23)
Steve commissioned the church to live out the truths we heard in the service and especially in the sermon. This served as a bridge to tell about some of the events and opportunities coming up in the week(s) ahead.
Steve said, “Receive this blessing of the Lord from His Word: ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.’ Amen.”